Five Songs That Got Shut Out

Hampton (J.Volckhausen)

Hampton (J.Volckhausen)

After playing 84 songs over six never-ending sets at Hampton’s last month, Phish still managed to leave a few classic pieces untouched.  With only three shows, there was no doubt that some songs would have to be left off the guest list, with their finger in the air.  But when sets turned into mini-shows, and the evenings stretched to four hours, it seemed that no stone would be left unturned.  As the band tore into most of their classic old-school repertoire, it seemed that we would hear all of the significant snippets from Phish history.  Yet upon further review, we missed a couple.  And given the vibe of the weekend, it is hard to believe that these, somehow, missed the cut.

1. “The Lizards”

The gateway to Gamehendge, “Lizards” is a hallmark of early Phish composition.  One of the most-loved non-improvisational pieces in the band’s catalog, “Lizards” embodies the Phishy spirit and was, similarly, the gateway to the world of Phish for many a fan.  Its absence within the three-show weekend wasn’t noticeable at the time, yet unfathomable in retrospect.  Trey’s composed “If I Were a Dog” solo in the second half of “Lizards” is one of the most sacred moments of Phish music, and one we will be sure to hear this summer.

2. “Cavern”

Hampton (J.Volckhausen)

Hampton (J.Volckhausen)

One of the most popular set closers in the band’s history, “Cavern” could have also slid anywhere within those two-hour first sets.  “Cavern” was one of the feel-good arrivals of a Phish show, and often the song that punctuated that special set.  Its funky rhythms always gave you one last song to rage before the encore.  Choosing many less prominent songs over this night-time mission, Phish left “Cavern” to close a set this summer- coming soon to an amphitheatre near you.

3. “The Mango Song”

In a weekend in which Phish showcased their compositional chops on their most unique pieces, “Mango” was curiously absent.  Debuted in ’89, this happy genre-defying song was played consistently through the years if not often.  Its relative rarity built it into a crowd favorite, and it would seem to have fit the bill for Hampton just right.  Carrying a distinctly summertime vibe, perhaps they decided to save it for the warmer months, just like last Friday’s Phish Thoughts’ feature song, “Ya Mar.”

4. “Ya Mar”

Hampton (J.Bryce)

Hampton (J.Bryce)

A song that dates back to Phish’s days of college, this adopted cover was a staple of summer Phish.  It wouldn’t be surprising to see it appear early in the first show at Jones Beach, welcoming the community back to the summer circuit.  Its calypso rhythms and island vibe would fit nicely along the water at Wantaugh, NY for the first summer show since ’04.

5. “Llama”

In any three-day exploration of old-school Phish, one would expect to hear this short and fiery Gamehendge reference.  Embodying the tightness and precision that band has vowed to reconnect with, “Llama” would have been musically congruent with the weekend’s goal.  You would imagine that this one won’t stay in hiding for long, and when it does return, expect it to jump of the stage with a renewed gusto.

Sure, they could never have fit them all into three shows, but after brainstorming which songs were left off the list, these were the non-selections that stood out the most.  All fixtures the Phish’s early catalog, each holds a distinct and special place in the band’s history.  Applying only trivial significance into these omissions, it is interesting to think back at all those hours of Phish and realize that we never heard these five.

ADDENDUM: “Golgi” and “Fee”

feeAfter waking up this morning and reading through the comments, I realized somehow left out “Fee” and “Golgi”- two of the songs that should most definitely be on this list before “Mango” and “Yamar.”  These omissions are directly related to the lack of sleep I got all weekend and the tired state in which I wrote this post.  These classics of the Phish catalog were two of the more surprising omissions given their history and popularity amongst all levels of fans. (How could they not play “Golgi” after that ticket fiasco!?)

Other significant older pieces that were left outside of Hampton looking in were: “The Sloth,” “McGrupp,” “Lifeboy,” “Mound,” and “Julius.”



12.31.91 Worcester Memorial Auditorium, MA SBD < LINK

12.31.91 Worcester Memorial Auditorium, MA SBD < TORRENT LINK

Phish Poster 5/91

Phish Poster 5/91

Sticking with the old-school theme of the day, here is a SBD copy of the 1991 New Year’s Eve show.  This would be the final New Year’s without some sort of additional spectacle.  Just lots of crisp, old-school jamming.  This one contains many a Phish classic.

I: Possum, Foam, Sparkle, Stash, Lizards, Guelah Papyrus, The Divided Sky, Esther > Llama, Golgi Apparatus

II: Brother, Bouncing Around the Room > Buried Alive > Auld Lang Syne, Runaway Jim, The Landlady, Reba, Cavern, My Sweet One, Run Like an Antelope

III: Wilson > The Squirming Coil, Tweezer > McGrupp and the Watchful Hosemasters > Mike’s Song > I Am Hydrogen > Weekapaug Groove**

E: Lawn Boy, Rocky Top, Tweezer Reprise

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278 Responses to “Five Songs That Got Shut Out”

  1. dyda Says:

    i don’t know how i ended up getting another subscription to rolling stone (which is a rag) but there’s an article about ‘brokers’ in it too. maybe i forgot to uncheck a box at an online checkout somewhere and got stuck with it again. whatever though, it was a surprise that the one with the hampton article was in the mailbox one day. icculus…

    beethoven’s 7th is my favorite with the 6th a close second. (insert random clockwork orange quote for the 9th here)

    how about dark star at shoreline?

  2. msbjivein Says:

    Jay, Were you the “Ugly Pig”? I agree I’ve heard that song 20 times! I’m over it! I wanna see Esther For a complex jam!

  3. dyda Says:

    the thing about different versions of guyute is the degree to which they nail it. some are kinda difficult to listen to.

  4. Mitch Says:

    Off topic – I have 2 extras to the Dead at Nassau. Good seats in sect 202. Face value.

  5. dyda Says:

    funny thing is that phish is still not even really much of a blip compared to what all is on the main pages of TM and LN. crappy pop nonsense still rules the culture for the most part.

  6. c0wfunk Says:

    honestly I think if you believe a song is overplayed, you need to see less shows. If the band is having fun playing it (which they clearly do with guyute) then whatevs…

  7. EL Duderino Says:

    The next time Phish plays a Dead song will be when Phil dies… probably

  8. dyda Says:

    christ that’s grim. i hope that’s not for another decade at least. phil is a trooper having overcome some serious shit already.

  9. old dude Says:

    Phil sounds like he’s been dyin’ for a while now
    (about 30 years)

  10. c0wfunk Says:

    phil singing stella blue is one of the most torturous things I’ve ever endured. Morning Dew on the same note..

  11. old dude Says:

    i’ll give him Box of Rain, Desolation, Unbroken and Cucamonga. but please Phil, please…

  12. Baboon Says:

    Fenway is looking somewhat official

  13. Chalkdustin Says:

    We’ll see what comes of this ticket sales issue. I don’t know how much of an impact this will make, but I guess it’s a start. The FTC part is a good idea, though I’m sure that scalpers will find a way around it and to beat the system.

  14. msbjivein Says:

    Broken Arrow’s the only thing I can stand hearing Phil sing. It sounds like a made up tongue of some sort.

  15. Mr.Miner Says:

    ^^ Fenway page was a PT april fools prank.

    Still may happen though.

  16. dyda Says:

    how about the instrumental stella from phil & phriends? (4.16.99) trey never plays slide though…

    for the record, i don’t have a problem with guyute


  17. SOAM Says:

    i am all for free for all chat topics but Phil dying is pretty rough dude.

    Besides-Phil has enough dough to buy the next failing body part.

    Most troubling on the phil topic (even more troubling than when he covers Days Between) is that he and Bobby were on the View (4 aging pigs, Yapping-that show) and they played FOTD-not Box, till the morning comes, Passenger, BT wind-they had to do a Jerry song-continuous bummer

  18. c0wfunk Says:

    word old dude that’s a good group, and broken arrow is always welcome, but that’s one of the reasons I actually enjoy Warren with Phil – Warren taking over Morning Dew vocal duties is one of the best things that ever happened to the musical consciousness.

    of course the scalpers will find a way around anything thrown at them, but the point is that if they have to jump through more hoops they will be at least partially slowed down and it should become a little more manageable. We need to get back to where they are marginalized and only slightly legitimate, rather than controlling a large percentage of the market.

  19. c0wfunk Says:

    you can make any phish page you want by changing that link at the top .. see:

  20. dyda Says:

    or on the moon or at the grand canyon or at a private island in dubai

  21. Samm3fs Says:

    I was really holding out for a Mango Song over Hampton, but another one I was really looking forward to was Guyute! Probably too much to tackle on their first run back, but I hope to hear it this summer! Also, I was waiting for a Makisupa Policeman, 46 Days, and The Curtain With. Camel Walk anyone? maybe this summer!

  22. voopa Says:

    I’m really surprised they didn’t play Sparkle.

    Not as surprised: Sneaking Sally, Saw it Again, Roggae, Frankie Says, Sleeping Monkey, If I Could, GTBT, Fire.

  23. Walfredo Says:

    I like the list…..I had a couple others that I thought would have gotten a hit in a 84 song 3-day run.

    1. Sand…..could have been huge
    2. Pebbles & Marbles
    3. Julius
    4. Boogie On

    Can’t complain though….got way more than I expected those 3 nights.

  24. Jay Says:

    @Msbjivein – No, I was not the ugly pig LOL! Though Trey did steal that nickname for that song from me 🙂

    Man, that Guyute song is One Ugly Pig. Man too funny.

  25. AintNoTele Says:

    Carini and HYHU too

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